© CNN, 2011

Censky, A, (2011) Surging college costs price out middle class CNN Money, June 13

Drawing on data from the IRS and the College Board, this report from CNN shows how tuition costs have risen in comparison with average incomes in the USA. This is because the rich have got much richer since 1988, while the middle class if anything are slightly less well off than they were over 20 years ago.

That this is a political rather than an educational issue is well articulated by the following quote from the article:

“There does seem to be this growing disparity between income and the cost of higher education,” said Justin Draeger, president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. “At the same time, there’s been a fundamental shift, moving away from public subsidization, to individuals bearing more of the cost of higher education.”

Not only are the rich getting richer in the USA, through tax cuts and increased tuition, they are making higher education a system that favours the elite that can afford it. This also comes with a high economic as well as a social cost:

Economists speculate that one reason unemployment is so high is because the American workforce lacks the skills needed to fill the jobs that are open. As a result, companies may shift these jobs overseas, where wages are often cheaper. Seeing a portion of the middle class shift to two-year degrees certainly doesn’t help the United States compete in the global economy.

For the same issues in Canada, see: Is e-learning the food bank of education?



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